Tuesday, January 15, 2013

National Federation of the Blind Comments on Belgian Euthanasia of Deaf Men Losing Sight

Immediate Release
Baltimore, Maryland (January 15, 2013)

The National Federation of the Blind, the largest organization of blind people in the United States with over 50,000 members, including many deaf-blind individuals, commented today on the state-sanctioned death by lethal injection of deaf twins in Belgium.  Upon learning that they were also going blind, the deaf twins sought and were granted euthanasia.

Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “This disturbing news from Belgium is a stark example of the common, and in this case tragic, misunderstanding of disability and its consequences.  Adjustment to any disability is difficult, and deaf-blind people face their own particular challenges, but from at least the time of Helen Keller it has been known that these challenges can be met, and the technology and services available today have vastly improved prospects for the deaf-blind and others with disabilities.  That these men wanted to die is tragic; that the state sanctioned and aided their suicide is frightening.”    

About the National Federation of the Blind

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) is the oldest, largest, and most influential nationwide membership organization of blind people in the United States.  Founded in 1940, the NFB advocates for the civil rights and equality of blind Americans, and develops innovative education, technology, and training programs to provide the blind and those who are losing vision with the tools they need to become independent and successful.  We need your support.  To make a donation, please go to www.nfb.org.

CONTACT:
Chris Danielsen
Director of Public Relations
National Federation of the Blind
(410) 659-9314, extension 2330
(410) 262-1281 (Cell)


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